It was an interesting experience, to sit on the stage of Markham Theatre today, eating lunch with various town luminaries and performers, learning about its 2012-2013 season and noting who was using a smartphone and who wasn’t. I couldn’t help but take pictures. Each table boasted a flag representing the nationality of upcoming performers; ironically or not, I’d been seated at the table boasting the American flag. The moment was a strange fusion of old and new loves.
I last performed on that stage in 1997, in Carol Shields’ Departures And Arrivals, donning a variety of roles and costumes. Though drama was an absolute passion back then (nay, a career path), I clearly remember that dreaded gremlin, stage fright, taking a firm icy grip during a monologue I had toward the end of the play on opening night. For a few awful seconds, I blanked out. It was mortifying.
Today, I looked down at the seats family and friends had occupied that night, and a flood of gratitude and relief washed over me. Gratitude at the patience of good people, and relief at changing my career trajectory after many bumps and false starts. Sometimes, it’s good to step out of the spotlight.
This desire for privacy coincides with a dawning reluctance over the past months at revealing too much personal information on here, and on other online spots. That may be owing to the fact that I’m moving deeper into the professional journo-world, and don’t care to splash around personal details, or it may be a distaste for over-sharing, a trend that doesn’t seem likely to wane in internet culture, where “heels and meals,” as a recent interviewee put it, rule the day. I don’t hate the trend; I just don’t happen to think I fit into it – and truth be told, don’t want to. I’d rather people get a small taste of me through my writing (and choice of coverage), but enjoy a full meal when they meet me in-person. I’m an unabashed sensualist at the end of the day, and I’d sooner meet someone over a glass of wine, if it’s possible; I’m fully cognizant that isn’t always possible, but when I’m out in the world, there’s always a new person to meet, always a new conversation to be had. I don’t want to miss those moments.
Right now I’m reconsidering the purpose of this blog, and am thinking of making it a space more for short, punchy observations – artistic, political, social, cultural – and for inviting more active commentary and feedback. Yes, I’m still going to keep my newsy (/sassy) Tumblr blog, and I’m active on Twitter and Facebook too – but really, I want readers to go to Digital Journal to read my formal work. I hope that isn’t too much to ask. It’s time for me to step off the proverbial stage of personal blogging, and move into the backstage realm, and, we hope, on to after-party to mix and mingle. The diva has exited the stage; she’s still around, though, if you want to look for her.